I'm working on an installer wizard, and one of the things which happens once the wizard is run is the creation of a folder based on your project name

We have a step in the wizard to choose where this folder is created, ie: if you name your project "MyProject" and select "C:\temp\" , it will create a "C:\temp\MyProject\" folder

What would be the best way to label the folder selector? Parent folder? Project folder location?

  • Thanks for all the great suggestions, after discussing them internally we're going to go with "Select parent folder" with a very short description of what is happening underneath
    – Steve
    Feb 19, 2012 at 19:37

6 Answers 6


I like the term "Select parent folder", but one thing to consider would be whether or not the concept of folder creation needs to be communicated to the user.

The user doesn't care that you're "creating a folder" for the project in another folder. The important high level idea is location of data.

Try something like "Select location for project data." or even "Select location for project."


Maybe: simply just "Add folder to..."

  • Folder and Directory are essentially the same thing. I think it is good practice to consistently use only one term. Mixing the two in one sentence is not a good idea imo. Feb 16, 2012 at 7:33
  • You may be right, I've removed that sentence. Thanks! Feb 16, 2012 at 7:52

"Where would you like this project's folder created?" or "Location of project folder:" make it clear that I don't have to create my own sub-folder for the project, which is always a temptation for me to do.

(You ever done that, or not done that when you should have? Like when extracting compressed files; I never know if I need to make a subfolder first, and sometimes when I don't, hundreds of files get littered in my 'Downloads' folder! It's very frustrating to clean up.)

In this case, I'm assuming that the user has named the project at an earlier step and that they're not choosing the location and the name both at once here. I imagine that would be more confusing.


I haven't seen to many apps that ask a user to select where they want a folder to be created, but the one I have seen (dare I say, Microsoft Visual Studio) has two fields everytime you create a new project: name and location. It creates a folder of the same name of the value the user enters into the "name" field at the given location.

Though this doesn't seem like a bad solution, I'd recommend placing a notice in either the wizard dialog itself or in a separate help dialog.

Another solution that comes to mind as I'm writing this post is that which many Windows applications themselves use when being installed; they show a pre-filled install location field with the name of the app tacked on at the end and if the folder doesn't already exist, it's created by the installer.


If the end result is for the entire project to be contained in one folder that will be maintained by your application, then why even mention that a folder is being created? That's something that the user doesn't need to know at the point you're describing, because it sounds like the project has to be contained within a folder.

Therefor, I'd use the simplest language possible and would stick to just Save and Open when dealing with your projects. This is what Logic Pro, Xcode (in my experience) and a lot of other applications that create project folders do, even when the project file the user needs to double click is contained within the project folder. It is very likely that the user will not be confused by this, as long as you have an obvious project file with an obvious icon contained within the project folder.

If your app is on Mac OS X (I know in your case it is not), then you can use a bundle, which is a folder that looks like a file to a user. GarageBand, TextEdit (with RTFDs) and many other Mac apps do this. It is probably the simplest way to do what you're after, because the user considers the bundle to be a file at every step of the way.

It sounds like you wish to let the user know that a folder is being created and some files or folders inside that folder will be created, but you'd like them to react as if a project file was being saved. I think this simply might be too much information to convey and yield no benefit for you or the user.


I would refer to the parent folder where project folders are created as the "working folder".

Is there a valid use case for different project folders to be stored in different working folders? If not, or if this is a rare use case, I would have users select their working folder once as part of their user preferences and then as much as possible remove it from the project creation wizard.

The parellel I would think of here is "the folder I create software folders in when I install software in Windows", which is pretty much going to be C:\Program Files. I don't expect to have to select this every time I install software, although perhaps I want an unobtrusive way of changing it for a special case.

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